ONE JEWISH BOY Transfers To Trafalgar Studios
Amidst an increasing climate of far right ideology worldwide and following a doubling of hate-crime incidents in the UK, One Jewish Boy makes a timely return with its West End debut. Written as an urgent response to overt antisemitism, this compelling two-hander explores a young family's struggle against fear, prejudice and identity looking at the inheritances that haunt us.
Written by multi-award winning writer Stephen Laughton, current Writer in Residence for the Astrophysics Department at the American Museum of Natural History, the visceral, biting play heads to the West End for four weeks only following its Old Red Lion Theatre sell-out success in December 2018/January 2019.
Set in London, Europe and New York, One Jewish Boy captures key moments over a ten-year relationship between Jesse, a nice Jewish boy from North London and the no-so Jewish Alex, the mixed heritage woman he falls desperately in love with. Jesse is paranoid and frightened which is messing up his relationship, his job, his daughter and his life. He has every reason to be frightened. Antisemitism rears its ugly head in a horrific way every 70 or so years, the last time it killed six million Jews, the time before that it resulted in their complete expulsion from eastern Europe - and with a 34% rise in violent assaults against Jewish people in the last year alone, Jesse can't bear to think of what this might all mean. Not with a 9-month-old daughter to protect.
With antisemitism and racism rife in political parties and recent highly publicised hate-crime incidents, One Jewish Boy asks if the fear of hatred, could be worse than hate itself...?
Stephen Laughton said: "One Jewish Boy was written from a place of tangible fear in 2018. It's a year after the first production and it feels like it's getting worse, there's been a doubling of attacks on Jewish people in the last few months, we're less safe in our homes, in schools and on the street...there are times when I worry if we're seeing history about to repeat itself.
"Antisemitism is insidious, it festers and it refuses to go away. It's real, it's tangible and it's terrifying. After the last few weeks in both London and New York, the play has never felt more relevant, more important to me.
"It's of course wonderful to be working with my creative team to take this new, longer version of the play to the West End and perform it to more audiences than ever but it's also heartbreaking that we are still having to talk about these issues in 2020."
Stephen Laughton (writer) is an award-winning writer, producer and director. In 2019 Stephen was the recipient of the JB Priestley Award for Young Writers of Promise, he also won a DYCP Award to undertake a writing residency within the Astrophysics Department at the American Museum of Natural History, in New York. He is working alongside world-renowned astrophysicists, led by Dr. Rebecca Oppenheimer - the most senior female astrophysicist in the world. The residency touches upon collaborations with NASA, the Jet Propulsion Lab and the Palomar Observatory on San Diego. Stephen has created two new pieces since he began the residency in spring 2019. His short film, Hiraeth, currently in post-production, is about the first manned mission to Europa and his play, Velocity, uses human reaction times and dark matter to explore mental health in the LGBTQ community.
His most recent play One Jewish Boy was the Old Red Lion Theatre's smash hit of 2018 and transfers to the West End in March 2020. The play caused controversy with its themes of rising anti-Semitism and was featured heavily in the national and international press. His equally controversial play Run recently ended a UK tour at The Bunker Theatre. The play has received widespread critical acclaim since its debut at the Vault Festival and has been nominated for a number of awards. The play is currently on tour in Europe. Stephen was recently on attachment to Headlong Theatre, as part of their new Headstart writers' programme and has been involved with various theatres in the UK - he is an alumnus of the Royal Court's Invitational Writers' Group and has recently been working with the Royal Court and Kudos Film and TV on a crossover theatre/screenwriter programme. He was a member of the Skylines programme at the Hampstead Theatre and part of a series of development workshops with the Young Vic Theatre and SoundBites Theatre. In January 2015, his play, Nine, was part of the PlayWROUGHT#3 Festival at the Arcola Theatre. His first full production, Screens, opened at Theatre503 in 2016 to rave reviews. He is currently working with the MTC in New York towards the Sloan Commission, and developing a new play with JW3 in London.
His screen work includes the award-winning short film RWD/FWD which recently hit over a 1.5m views, original series The Hobby - which is in development with Three Tables Television, and Solvents - which is in development with Kudos Film and TV. Previous TV projects include Black Hill with Lime Pictures, Forward with Blacklisted and Tumble with Double M Films.
Sarah Meadows (director) is an awarda??winning director and has worked across the UK, Europe and the USA. Sarah began her career in Manchester and worked as Assistant to the Executive Producer and Artistic Director John McGrath (National Theatre Wales, Manchester International Festival) at Contact Theatre.
Sarah has worked and trained with directors such as John McGrath, Mike Alfreds, John Burgess and Stephen Unwin. Her recent credits include: The Fear of Fear by Stephanie Ridings, Warwick Arts Theatre/UK tour; Alkaline by Stephanie Martin, The Park Theatre; Assistant Director, The Real Thing by Tom Stoppard, directed by Stephen Unwin, large scale UK tour (including Cambridge Arts Theatre, The Rose Kingston, Bath Theatre Royal); Summer in London, by Rikki Beadle Blair, Theatre Royal Stratford East; Pig, Tim Luscombe, The Vaults, Waterloo; Where Do Little Birds Go? by Camilla Whitehill, Old Red Lion, UK tour, VAULT Festival & Edinburgh Festival, Underbelly; Ile La Wa by Tolu Agbelusi; Apples & Snakes, UK Tour; Screwed by Kathryn O'Reilly, Theatre 503.